Apple's latest announcement yesterday revealed the latest and greatest iteration of the iPhone. For the first time, there will be two distinct product lines - the 5C, offering the iPhone five distinct colors and the 5S, offering a one-two punch of a speedier processor and graphics. In response to my colleagues' post on why iPhone isn't the right choice for business, I'd like to offer my counterpoint:


The 5S makes some improvements that are great for businesses. The home button now features an integrated fingerprint scanner, which can be used to unlock the phone. This is incredible, because thanks to recent password leaks (like those at LinkedIn, eHarmony, and Yahoo), we know that despite the gripes of security professionals, the top 3 passwords in use are still 'password', '123456' and '12345678'. While larger firms tend to install 3rd-party security suites that require strong passwords, many smaller firms can not afford, or choose not to require such stringent policy.

The fingerprint capture is converted to a digital hash and stored internally on the phone. It is not accessible by 3rd-party apps or backed up on Apple's iCloud servers. This reduces the chance of the fingerprint being hacked or stolen (and we saw what happened when Bane got Bruce Wayne's thumbprint). The downside to this is the password or thumbprint is still optional, meaning business executives should strongly encourage their employees to set up a password on their phone if they're using it to access company data.

  • Keyboard: While I appreciated the physical keyboard on my old Blackberry 8330, I quickly got used to the soft keyboard of the iPhone. Any time lost to misspellings on the soft keyboard was likely equal to time lost by fat-thumbing words on the tactile keyboard. 
  • Screen Size: I tend to go back and forth on this one. While a larger screen would be nice for videos or some webpages and apps, I like the size of the phone overall, and don't feel an increasingly larger screen would be a benefit. 
  • Input/Output: It's true, there are still a limited number of devices and accessories that use Apple's proprietary lightening connector. However, there is a lightening to HDMI adapter available (for a cool $50) if you really feel the need to see your Fruit Ninja game on a 55" TV


The intuitive software that Apple released with the first iPhone in 2007 was revolutionary. Here we are six years later, and I still find it to be more intuitive than other smart phones. I don't have to search around, things are just they're expected to be. To address some complaints about the software:

  • Multitasking: It's true apps do sometimes have to restart when switching between them. Hopefully on the 5S the increased processor speed makes this less of an issue. 
  • File Management: I do wish phones handled this better, essentially to act more like a computer with a traditional file system. However, now that Apple has made iWork free on all new iPhones and iPads, managing and editing files should be a piece of cake. Plus, everything can be backed up on iCloud for easy syncing to other devices without emailing yourself incessantly. 
  • Optimization: User optimization is one area where Apple can make some strides towards improvement. System features and options are buried in a confusing hierarchy of menus, and there is no are no real diagnostics to see which apps are the true battery hogs. 


Even as a self-confessed Apple fan-boy, I have to concede that attention to detail has gone downhill since Steve Jobs died. Case in point, the iPhone 5C is offered in a wide array of colors, with an even wider array of colored cases, all manufactured by Apple. However, looking at the back of the phone through with the case in place, the normal iPhone etching is obscured by the case, leaving 'hon'. This is ugly, and frankly, something that Jobs would not have let into production. As Techcrunch points out, it's even uglier in real life with the FCC markings. 

All in all, I still think the iPhone is the superior product: I use it for personal use, work, and school. It seems to have less problems and issues than any Android device I've encountered. While the race for the best may be neck and neck, I conclude Apple has won this round. 
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Greg Swenson

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